Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

Gabrielle Hamilton

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0812980883

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Miami Herald • Newsday The Huffington Post • Financial Times • GQ • Slate • Men’s Journal • Washington Examiner • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews • National Post • The Toronto Star • BookPage • Bookreporter

Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; Hamilton’s own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton’s idyllic past and her own future family—the result of a prickly marriage that nonetheless yields lasting dividends. By turns epic and intimate, Gabrielle Hamilton’s story is told with uncommon honesty, grit, humor, and passion.

Features a new essay by Gabrielle Hamilton at the back of the book

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entrance to the kitchen? Had it fallen, unnoticed, out of one of the coffins when the kids were putting them away last night? How drunk could they have been not to notice? I followed my eyes across the kitchen floor and I’m not sure if I moaned out loud or physically gasped out loud. In the middle of the kitchen floor I saw another lobster. Dead. And just next to it, another. And then, a couple of feet behind him, two more. I was losing my breath. I looked up and there, clinging onto the edge of

blue-clad men with terrible teeth who now stood against the bar, with manure and red dirt stuck to their black rubber boots, were on their first of many to follow. Throughout the day they would stop back in for “un coup” while their tractors sat haphazardly parked on the side of the road just outside. Bottles of Pernod, Ricard, and my favorite, the bitter orange-flavored Suze, hung upside down from a clever rack, and I learned to push the glass up against the spring-fitted nozzle to drain out a

perfect one-ounce pour. The eggs sat out at room temperature in the kitchen and Michel, the crêperie cook who wore big thick-lensed glasses that made his eyes huge above his mustache, let the cigarette dangle from his lips as he cracked them into the crêpe batter, made of buckwheat flour each day. The salad dressing was made in the bottom of the bowl with garlic, mustard, vinegar, and oil and tossed in with the Bibb lettuce that we bought at the little open air market that set up every morning

after I had crossed off the first thousand tasks in black Sharpie. Items I had never encountered in my professional life— —I now tackled bravely. In the evenings, people I didn’t know at all passed by constantly, saw the cleanup, and popped their heads in to ask, excitedly, if the old beloved French bistro was finally coming back to life, and when I said “No, I’m sorry, this will be a new place,” their faces sank in sadness and disappointment, and I struggled to feel confident. No fewer

from her nostrils. Because it makes you shudder just like that. And that’s just how it felt to be introduced to Michele’s family. At some extra-low point, some years after we were married, Michele and I went to a marriage counselor in New York and we sat down on the couch in her nice office on our first visit and we introduced ourselves. As soon as Michele started speaking, as soon as she heard his voice, the therapist lit up and smiled and said: “Oh. You’re Italian! Are you Italian? I LOVE

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